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Body-positive campaigns ring up positive sales for women’s swimwear

by Arye Zucker - April 25, 2018

Image credit: Adam Jang (via Unsplash)

While brands have expanded the size range for their swimsuit lines to reach broader audiences, shoppers have gravitated more towards purchasing their swimsuits online. In fact, online sales for women’s swimwear were up by 25 percent in 2016, relative to 2015. With such a significant growth in the online market, this could be tied to brands investing in more inclusive campaigns, and thus, reaching more shoppers.

In the last two years, brands like Target and American Eagle, among others, have promoted body-positive campaigns that are inclusive of all shapes and sizes, and the trend only continues to grow. Most recently, we saw Target launch its supportive stretch marks campaign. For American Eagle, it was its #AerieReal campaign in January 2016. These are a few examples of factors that may have led to the recent overall surge in online women’s swimwear sales.

The end of Victoria’s Secret swimwear leads shoppers to...

Victoria’s Secret, which previously held one of the largest shares of the online women’s swimwear market and was not among the brands investing in a broader size range, announced in May 2016 that they were discontinuing their swim line. So where are women buying their swimsuits online now? The answer: Amazon and Target.

Amazon dominates the women’s swimwear category

Shortly after the Victoria’s Secret announcement, Amazon saw an uptick of 63 percent in online women’s swimsuit sales. While Victoria’s Secret continued to see sales through the New Year, there was a massive lag behind what Amazon was gaining in the women’s online swimwear market.

The return of the one-piece

Although the bikini continues to be the staple item for women’s online swimwear, you can pretty much find one-piece swimsuits anywhere. From celebrities to fashion bloggers, everyone seems to have at least one version of this style. This trend has only strengthened in popularity, with a growth of 50 percent in 2016 and the two-piece swimsuit's share of the market gradually declining.

About this data

With a panel of over 4.7 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.